Forthcoming Releases

Orchid Press Publishing has a wide collection of well illustrated books, appealing to both the layman and the scholar, and written by specialists. Forthcoming releases are available in the libraries below.

Individual Titles Asian Portraits Central Asian Studies
Bibliotheca Asiatica   Bibliotheca Himalayica


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Buddhist Monasteries of Nepal:
A Survey of the Bahas and Bahis of the Kathmandu Valley
by John K. Locke, S.J., photography by Hugh R. Downs
2017, 540 pp., 334 duotone plates, 2 folding maps, bibliography, 29 x 21 cm., hardcover.
ISBN-10: 974-524-108-3 Price To Be Announced
ISBN-13: 978-974-524-108-4

A definitive survey of the rich legacy of some 360 Buddhist architectural structures and remains in and around the Kathmandu Valley, including both the urban centers of Kathmandu, Patan and Baktapur, as well as surrounding villages. The study examines, for each site, its history, extant sacred images, details of torana, and caitya as well as the overall mandala represented in the monastery structure. The author also surveys such ethnographic details of Nepalese monastic life as daily and annual rituals, initiations, governing structure and economics.
   First photographed and published in the mid 1980s.
   Lineage deities, economics, history, governing body, initiations, annual festivals, daily rituals, mandala, caitya, torana, sacred images.
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Ikat from Tanimbar
by Marianne van Vuuren
2017, 180 pp., 107 col. and 50 b & w pl., 35 figs and over 250 line drawings, 4 maps, 2 tables, 1 chart, appendix, glossary, bibliography, 23 x 22 cm., softcover
ISBN-10: 974-524-093-1 Price To Be Announced
ISBN-13: 978-974-524-093-3

The textiles of Indonesia are widely appreciated by textile specialists, both professional and amateur; however, the intricate ikats produced in the Moluccas, at the easternmost end of the archipelago, prove to be an exception, in that little attention has been paid to this genre to date.
   The present book, the result of eight years’ study by the author, herself an expert hand weaver, serves admirably to bridge this gap in our knowledge. The author provides the framework for the study by describing the techniques, materials and dyes used by the Tanimbarese weavers, as well as the social and ritual significance of the resulting cloths.
   The book concludes with an in-depth description and analysis of the iconography of the ikats of Tanimbar, cataloguing over 250 motifs employed by local weavers.
   Richly illustrated with new and historic photographs and numerous sketches and line drawings, Ikat from Tanimbar is an important and welcome contribution to the literature on Southeast Asian textiles.


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Cloud Hands:
The Essence of T’ai Chi Ch’uan
by Tew Bunnag
2017, 112 pp., 7 b & w plates, 21.5 x 14 cm., softcover.
ISBN-10: 974-524-121-0 Price to be announced.
ISBN-13: 978-974-524-121-3

A series of essays by a T’ai Chi master who has practiced the art for some 40 years and taught it to others, both to those in need of therapeutic help and to future trainers, for over 30 years. Through insightful essays on such topics as the Buddhist and Taoist ‘roots’ of T’ai Chi, on T’ai Chi as prayer, meditation, and martial practice, and on the essential need to combine physical with spiritual practice, Bunnag offers insight into the essence of this ancient and powerful art to all levels of interest.
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The Development of Paper, Printing and Ink in Asia
by Berthold Laufer
2017, 122 pp, 3 b & w plates, bibliography of the author, index, 21.5 x 15 cm., softcover.
ISBN-10: 974-524-110-5 Price to be announced.
ISBN-13: 978-974-524-110-7

An essay on the development of paper and printing in China, and a history of the development and use of various forms of ink in Asia, reprinted from sources long out of print and now very hard to find.
   Berthold Laufer (1874-1934) was one of the earliest and most erudite Western scholars of Asian culture. Fluent in many Asian languages, and leader of four major exploratory expeditions to Asia, he was the author of over 200 anthropological studies, books and papers. Includes a summary of Laufer’s illustrious scholarly career, and a detailed bibliography of his writings.
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Precious Materials in Asian History:
Essays on Turquoise, Amber, Ivory, Diamond and Gold
by Berthold Laufer
2017, 275 pp., 2 col. & 24 b & w plates, index, 24.5 x 17.5 cm., softcover.
ISBN-10: 974-524-109-1 Price to be announced.
ISBN-13: 978-974-524-109-1

Essays on the sources, usage, social significance and folklore of some of the most prominent precious materials in the history of China, South Asia and the Himalayas. A rich source of information on the anthropological implications of these materials, and the sometimes subtle links that developed between East and West in the quest for these treasured substances.
   Berthold Laufer (1874-1934) was one of the earliest and most erudite Western scholars of Asian culture. He was the primary contributor to the great collection of anthropological material now preserved at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, a collection he curated for some 26 years. A world renowned expert on jade in China, his writings on which remain important references to the present, the current collection of essays summarize his writings on precious substances other than jade.
Trans-Himalayan Traders:
Economy, Society and Culture in Northwest Nepal
by James F. Fisher
2017, 242 pp., 19 b&w photos, 10 figures, 5 maps, appendices, endnotes, bibliography, index, 23 x 15 cm., softcover.
ISBN-13: 978-974-524-201-2 $25.00

On an isolated Himalayan hillside in northwest Nepal, the village that was the subject of this groundbreaking study in the late ‘60s—at the time two weeks’ walk from the nearest commercial transportation—was as culturally complex as it was remote. While the villagers were largely self-sufficient, it was the ways in which they still depended on outside forces that anthropologist Fisher analyses compellingly in this work.
   Republished almost 50 years after the original fieldwork to coincide with the publication of a recent follow-up investigation by Fisher (Trans-Himalayan Traders Transformed), the two volumes provide a fascinating and significant view of the evolution of this once remote culture.
(Reprint; originally published by University of California Press, 1987)

   “…well researched, well analysed and equally well-written ethnography. The author’s style is insightfull and easy-going, with a certain wit and frankness… exceptionally good..”. Donald A. Messerschmidt, Mountain Research and Development, Vol. 6, No. 4.
Trans-Himalayan Traders Transformed:
Return to Tarang
by James F. Fisher
2017, 258 pp., 29 b&w photos, 2 figures, 4 maps, endnotes, bibliography, index, 23 x 15 cm., softcover.
ISBN-13: 978-974-524-202-9 $25.00

Returning to Tarang, a remote village in northwestern Nepal, 44 years after conducting his groundbreaking study there, anthropologist Fisher explores the ways in which modernization and mobility have transformed the livelihood and culture of these once isolated people. Through individual life histories he constructs and analyses the economic and cultural impacts that political, environmental and commercial revolutions in Nepalese society at large have had on the people of Tarang, both transforming their lives and also consolidating and elaborating centuries old societal patterns.
   Together with Fisher’s original study (Trans-Himalayan Traders), recently republished, this volume will be of interest to social scientists and others focused on the changing South and Central Asian worlds.
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The Trial of the Honey Thief
and Other Tales from Mandalay
by Various
2017, 224 pp., 18 b & w sketches, 21.5 x 14 cm., softcover.
ISBN-10: 974-524-122-9 Price to be announced.
ISBN-13: 978-974-524-122-0

Mandalay, an ancient center of Burmese culture with rich traditions of music, dramatic and plastic arts and painting, was also, over its colonial period, an inspiration for many foreign writers and poets. Yet seldom have the voices of Mandalay’s own writers managed to have been heard. The present collection of 18 short stories are translated from the original Burmese writings of some of central Burma’s most eminent comics, essayists and authors. They speak eloquently, sometimes humourously and at times philosophically, about the lives of the common people of Burma today—the joys and trials of the young and old, of the denizens of city and country, of wives and husbands and lovers.


Religions of the Hindukush
by Karl Jettmar
2017, 525 pp., 12 b&w plates, 24 line drawings and sketches, 3 maps, 23 x 15 cm., hardcover.
ISBN-13: 978-974-524-127-5 $65.00

The traditional religion and rituals of the remote tribal groups along the borderlands of eastern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan, with their complex cosmology of gods and demons, preserved elements from archaic Indo-Aryan, and possibly even pre-Vedic, beliefs.
   While the peoples of this region were converted to Islam by the turn of the 20th century, the deeply conservative nature and geographical isolation of these tribes have combined to preserve ancient folk religious practices long extinct elsewhere in Central and South Asia.
   The author, a renowned Austrian anthropologist, integrates the diverse scholarly findings of colleagues in the fields of linguistics, cultural history and archaeology, with his own field investigations to construct an authoritative, yet highly readable account of the religious practices of this remote and little understood corner of Asia.
   A groundbreaking and indispensable reference both for the general student of Asian religions and for those with special focus on the tribal cultures and customs of eastern Afghanistan and Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province.



Dutch Mandarin:
The Life and Work of Robert Hans van Gulik
by C. D. Barkman & H. de Vries-van der Hoeven
2017, 362 pp., 31 b&w photos, 14 b&w line drawings & figures, 23 x 15 cm, softbound.
ISBN-13: 978-974-524-200-5 $29.95

Diplomat, Asian scholar, author, polyglot, polymath, passionate lover of life in all its forms, Robert van Gulik researched and wrote prolifically on a wide range of Asian subects, such as Chinese scroll mounting, sexual life in China and the Chinese lute—an instrument that he was also mastered as a musician. In addition to his more esoteric writings, van Gulik achieved wide popular fame as the author of a series of mystery novels based on the life of semi-fictional Judge Dee in ancient China.
   Two former colleagues and close acquaintances of van Gulik have combined their own experiences with recollections of family and other contemporaries, as well as detailed entries in the diaries of the man himself to provide us with an entertaining and highly readable portrait of a remarkable life.
A must-read for the Asian specialist as well as van Gulik’s many admirers among the general public.


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Wanderings of a Naturalist in India,
the Western Himalayas and Cashmere
by Andrew Leith Adams, MD
Second imprint 2017 (first edition 1867). 344 pp., 1 ill., index, 21.5 x 14.5 cm., softbound
ISBN-10: 974-524-113-X Price to be announced.
ISBN-13: 978-974-524-113-8

A vivid and early account of the birds and animals, both wild and domesticated, insects and plants of the north India and the western Himalaya, as sighted by Adams in his various expeditions through these regions. The author, in addition, has a keen eye for the landscape through which he conducts us, as well as for fascinating anthropological detail about the indigenous human inhabitants.
   Adams, an army physician, served with British forces in India and Kashmir, as well as in the Middle East and Canada, between 1848 and 1873; he was an avid student of natural history over the course of his postings. Following his retirement, he assumed a professorship of natural history at Trinity College, Dublin.